A perfect summer day drink. Refreshing, fizzy, sweet, and slightly sour. It is fermented in 2-3 days. This is similar to the Finnish lemon mead.
This Finnish style Sima-drink is fermented with yeast. It can get just a little alcohol but not much, a maximum of 0,2 per mill. In Finland kids also drink this fizzy drink. Unlike the traditional mead that is often made in May, this is made throughout the whole rhubarb season in summer. Read more about the Finnish Vappu season.
Ingredients for the basic recipe
- Fresh rhubarb
Different sweeteners give different tastes
For this recipe, you can use regular white sugar. This elevates the rhubarb taste and makes the most beautiful color for the drink.
Honey is a good option to use as a sweetener. Honey gives more round and floral tones to the drink. It also makes the color a bit more cloudy.
Brown sugar can be used, but the color gets a brownish tone. Especially if you use red rhubarb stalks, the color is not that appetizing.
Different additional flavorings for the rhubarb lemonade
Strawberries go always along with rhubarb. To make strawberry-rhubarb mead replace half amount of rhubarb with fresh or frozen strawberries.
To give a different taste you can also add lemon or lime to the drink.
Spices you can try out in your mead:
- Fresh ginger. Use a 5 cm piece, peel and grte it or chop it as small pieces.
- Cinnamon. Place one cinnamon stick to boil with the rhubrb. This does though color the drink.
- Vanilla. Use one vanilla bean pod as sliced to boil with the rhubarbs.
- Cardamom. Add 1-2 teaspoon cardamom or 1-2 green cardamom pods that have been opened.
How do you get a lovely pink drink?
Use rhubarbs that have red color on the stems. If your rhubarbs are green, then you can add some strawberries to give red color.
- 5 bottles with caps, 25 ounces, 750ml
- 1 big pot
- 1 gallon water
- 6 cups chopped rhubarb
- 3 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fresh or dried yeast
- Cut the leaves and root part from the rhubarb. Rinse the stems.
- Cut the stems to 1-2 cm thick pieces.
- Put the rhubarb pieces along with the water and sugar in a big pot. Add also if you like additional flavors like vanilla.
- Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Let the mix cool down. When it is lukewarm strain the rhubarb pieces.
- Add in the yeast. If you use fresh yeast the water needs to be your body temperature, if you use dried yeast the liquid needs to be 42 degrees Celsius, 105-110F.
- Let the mead stand in room temperature covered over night.
- Pour into air-tight bottles the next day. Put 1-2 raisins in each bottle. Place the bottles in the fridge.
- The mead is ready when the raisins rise to the top. Store upright and open the caps between 1-2 days so that the CO2 levels dont get too high and the bottles explode when opened.